- Mensa Otabil has reportedly excused himself from the board of trustees of the National Cathedral of irregularities in executing the project
- MP for North Tongu said his sources say Mr Otabil has not attended meetings for the past 12 months
- The opposition MP has also revealed that even the composition of the board itself presents evidence of irregularities
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A respected member of the religious community in Ghana, Dr Mensa Otabil, has reportedly left the board of trustees of the National Cathedral project.
According to the opposition MP for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Founder of the mega International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) left the board because of several instances of illegality and irregularity that have been committed by some top government officials in the ongoing process to up the edifice.
Mr Ablakwa, who remains one of the outspoken critics of the controversial project, said he is reliably informed that Dr Otabil has stopped attending meetings of the board of trustees for at least one year.
“I am not surprised that there is quite an uneasy calm among the Board of Trustees. And I can confirm to you that one imminent priest has walked away from the Board; the revered Dr Mensa Otabil is no longer with them.
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“The whole year, he has not attended any of their meetings. It is not clear what his intention was, but he has given indication that all is not well,” Mr Ablakwa told Joy News on Sunday, June 12, 2022.
Already, the Minority in Parliament have summoned the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to come and answer why he directed the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to disburse $25 million to the project contractor, RIBADE, without legislative approval. The Minority MPs say the $25 million was not part of the funds the minister told the legislature he will spend this year when he presented the 2022 budget to Parliament.
Mr Ablakwa added that some names on the board of trustees for the project also present a clear case irregularity, citing one Dr Paul Opoku Mensa as an example.
“When you go through the list of Board of Trustees, this gentleman [Dr Paul Opoku Mensah] who has been listed here as the Executive Director of the Secretariat, a Secretariat presented as a private entity, has also been listed as a Presidential staffer and his position there is, Overseer of the National Cathedral. Why is the Ghanaian taxpayer paying somebody who works for a private board of trustees?” he asked.
Dr Otabil is yet to make a public statement to confirm or deny the allegation that he has left the board.
The Cathedral project has been fraught with allegations of irregular procurement processes and shady release of funds. Already, the total cost of the project has changed from $100 million to $200 million and recently to $350 million. The total expenditure on the project so far also remains murky.
A section of the Ghanaian population want the funds earmarked for the project to be put into improving the struggling economy that has been characterised by sky-rocking food inflation, high cost of living, and high interest rates, among others.
Leaked Letter Shows National Cathedral Contractor Has Sacked Staff Due To Lack Of Payment
YEN.com.gh has already reported in an earlier story that a letter making rounds on social media suggests that the contractor for the National Cathedral has laid off some staff due to lack of payment from government.
The viral letter was also first shared by the Member of Parliament for North Tongu. The opposition MP added a caption to the leaked letter he shared on Facebook that claims as many as 200 workers have been sacked. The letter, however, did not indicate that.
Portions of the leaked letter reads as follows:
“Due to the lack of payment from the National Cathedral of Ghana which has resulted in the project being suspended, RIBADE COMPANY LTD is required under the contract to mitigate costs.
“In compliance with such an obligation under the contract, RIBADE COMPANY LTD has no option but to issue this letter of notice terminating the agreement between RIBADE COMPANY LTD and you as per the provisions of your employment agreement.
“This notice of termination takes effect on the 14th of March 2022 you are therefore requested to hand in all properties (i.e. safety equipment, etc) belonging to the company in your possession to the HR office by close of work of the same day.”
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